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Paan Shop, Flour Mill and Auto Rickshaws: Bihar Govt Rejects 'Innovative' Startup Ideas

The Nitish Kumar-led government had inaugurated the startup scheme last year with a focus on helping budding entrepreneurs of the state. About Rs 500 crore was allocated for the scheme but only 29 entrepreneurs have been beneficiaries to the tune of Rs 71 lakh.

Alok Kumar, Rupesh Kumardmalok

Updated:May 3, 2018, 3:16 PM IST
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Paan Shop, Flour Mill and Auto Rickshaws: Bihar Govt Rejects 'Innovative' Startup Ideas
File photo of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. (PTI)
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Patna: The Bihar government had to reject more than 4,500 applications out of the 5,000 it received for the ambitious startup programme. The reason being that most of the entries were for paan shops or flour mills and were not ‘innovative’.

The Nitish Kumar-led government had inaugurated the startup scheme last year with a focus on helping budding entrepreneurs of the state. About Rs 500 crore was allocated for the scheme but only 29 entrepreneurs have been beneficiaries to the tune of Rs 71 lakh.

The government had spent about three crores on setting up various divisions and departments for executing this scheme.

State industry minister Jai Kumar Singh acknowledged the failure and attributed it to lack of awareness. Talking to News18, he said the government would do more to reach out and educate people on a block-level.

Applicants, who get selected, would receive Rs 10 lakh as assistance for setting up their businesses, much like what the central government provides under its MUDRA scheme. Unlike the Centre’s initiative, the applicant here must come up with innovative ideas. Only after it is approved by a committee does an applicant receive the first instalment of Rs 2.5–3 lakh rupees.

Many felt the initial sum of money was not enough to set up a business, hence why they resorted to paan shops and buying auto rickshaws. Therefore, the minister now wants to change the criteria.

“We will do away with the word ‘innovative’ and accept any business proposal viable in the area. However, if an entrepreneur’s idea is approved from any other agency or bank, then my government will provide him/her with an equal amount of money irrespective of the present ceiling,” said Singh.
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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